Nurse Manager Certification and Licensing

Like all nurses, nurse managers must be licensed by their state. This involves completing an approved or accredited nursing program and passing a licensing exam. Some states participate in the Nurse Licensure Compact; by recognizing nursing licenses from other compact states, they make it easier for nurses to cross state lines.

Become a Nurse Manager

Nurse Manager / Nurse Administrator Resources…

Nurse managers do not need a higher level of licensing than other registered nurses, but they often need more education. At some hospitals, it is still possible to work one’s way up to management level positions with an associate’s degree. Magnet hospitals, though, must hire nurses managers with at least a bachelor’s degree. As hospitals begin to work toward magnet status, they may only consider candidates who hold a baccalaureate.

Unlike licensing, certification is not a mandate. It can be a professional asset, however, as it displays both professional knowledge and dedication. Certification is available in virtually every patient care specialty and also in management and leadership.

Nurses with BSNs and at least two years of recent experience in nurse leadership may apply for Nurse Executive certification through The American Nurses Credentialing Center. Thirty units of continuing education in nursing administration is required for initial licensure if a candidate does not hold a master’s degree. Nurses with master’s degrees may apply for Nurse Executive-Advanced.

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Organization of Nurse Executives jointly offer a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader credential. The test assesses knowledge at the levels of recall, application, and analysis. A content outline is available on the AACN site.